By Sam Coles:
Halo games are always a mix bag these days with the fan base as a lot of people lost interest in the franchise since Bungie left to do their own thing with Destiny, their last Halo game was a fantastic send off and that is the prequel game Halo: Reach.
Halo Reach takes place before the events of Combat Evolved where you play as Noble 6 in the Spartan Noble team who are the last remaining Spartans who are only called up for sensitive and crucial situations. They’re called up to investigate a series of murders and gunfights that have been happening on farms where they suspect that a band of rebels caused it, but Noble team have their doubts and it turns out the alien race the Covenant caused all the deaths. The game has more of a human touch as you see Noble 6 slowly get to know each member as they seem to not to like him at first but grow to like him as you show your fighting prowess. It’s brutal this story as if you don’t know the Halo mythos each member of the Noble team die in a horrific fashion including you but you go out like a champ.
The gameplay goes back to the original Halo’s style as you no longer have regenerating health, but you still have the shield and because of this factor this game is the hardest in the series as you have these wide open spaces and a huge abundance of enemies on screen. The gameplay seems faster pace as you can sprint for the first time if you have that ability on you, yes you have different armour ability such as a barrier that can deflect gun fire and vehicles, jump packs and shields you can walk and push enemies back. This game was a long and hard campaign with excellent variation with different combat situations and environments.
The multiplayer was a step up from Halo 3 with new games modes and of course with the added armour abilities with new weapons. The ranking system was easier to grasp as well where it tells you how far away you are from the next level rather than having a vague idea like you did in Halo 3. Matchmaking in this game was far better than 3’s as it doesn’t take as long to get into a game and you didn’t have to wait for other players if you wanted to play another match with them and there were fewer network issues don’t get me wrong there were at launch but that is to be expected.
Graphically it still holds up considering the game turns six years old this September the character models look great with the different armour variations on each of the Spartans in the Noble team. The environments look fantastic from the rain soaked farms at the start of the game to the dim and menacing glow of a city set ablaze.
The only minor problem I have with this game is the weird motion blur you get now and again it is not constant to cover up the 30 fps frame rate it just blurs here and there.
Overall Halo Reach is a fantastic game and also a great send off for Bungie as they left to go work on Destiny. If you haven’t played it go get it and it works on Xbox One if you don’t have a 360 but it does have performance issues on the Xbox One backwards compatibility.